These blue-ribbon-winning Chocolate Parisian Macarons feature a rich chocolate ganache filling between two delicate, airy cookies made with just 5 main ingredients: almond flour, egg whites, powdered sugar, salt, and unsweetened cocoa powder.
Winning Success: Then & Now
Dallas-Fort Worth native Racene Mendoza created this recipe to taste like the macrons of French patisseries. Mission accomplished! Perfected after an endless number of trial runs, the recipe led her to a 1st place win at the State Fair of Texas (Ghirardelli Chocolate Championship, 2011).
Fast forward 9 years and Racine has opened her own 100% vegan pastry shop in the Dallas area, Reverie Bakeshop. How delightful! We’re thrilled for her. If you find yourself in North Texas, be sure to stop in and support our fellow Blue Ribbon Foodie.
I can’t get enough of sandwich cookies these days. Remember those homemade dulce de leche, caramel sandwich cookies? These macarons rank up there with that state fair winner from Iowa. Both are patisserie-level in quality. Bake macarons like a blue ribbon winner with Racine’s recipe below and our preparation tips.
How to Win at Making Chocolate Parisian Macarons
Crystal–my niece and fellow blue ribbon foodie–is a macaron enthusiast. I mean, she obsesses–in a good way–about perfecting any batch she makes. She jumped at the opportunity to test-run and photograph Racine’s winning recipe. She took a deep dive into them. From Crystal:
Macarons are known for being tricky to make, but this recipe proves otherwise. The macaron shells require just five ingredients.
The great thing about these little cookies (besides the ease of making them) is that they aren’t overly sweet. The macaron shells are slightly sweet and have a subtle hint of chocolate. This works perfectly when paired with the rich chocolate ganache filling you make with Ghirardelli Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Chips and heavy cream. The end result is a balanced flavor that will please any chocolate lover.
Macarons Made Easy – Tips & Tricks
Racine’s recipe is so easy to follow. Here are some highlights and general tips about making macarons that may prove helpful:
- Find and use a printable macron template, free online, to trace onto parchment paper. Another option is a macron baking mat with a size guide: like this one at Sur la table. Having your macron shells all the same size helps to match each top and bottom together for each cookie.
- The recipe notes how long it should take to do certain steps, and to take more time if needed. When making the meringue with the egg whites, salt, and sugar, it’s more important to achieve stiff peaks than it is to beat them for a specific amount of time.
- Make sure you don’t over mix or under mix the batter. Once it starts to come together, there are three tests you can do.
Test for Success
- The Ribbon Test. Drop batter off of the spatula into the bowl. It should flow into a ribbon (some say it should flow like molten lava). If the batter falls off in clumps, that means you need to mix it a little more. Do another 3 or 4 folds and then do the ribbon test again.
- The Figure 8 Test. When dropping the batter off the spatula, see if you can easily draw a figure 8 with the batter.
- The 10 Second Test. Once the batter is flowing easily off of the spatula or you are able to draw a figure 8, watch how long the batter takes to incorporate back into itself. If it takes about 10 seconds, your batter is a good consistency.
The best tip about making macarons, however, is to just dive in,and have fun with the process. Remember that they will taste amazing no matter what! And you luckily have a great recipe to make the process easier!
Chocolate Parisian Macarons
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2/3 cup almond flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup egg whites
Pinch of salt
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
Red food color gel
(You will also need, pastry bag and round tip, 2-3 baking sheets, and parchment paper)
Sift together the powdered sugar, almond flour, and cocoa powder.
In a separate bowl, beat egg whites and salt with a hand-held electric mixer, using either beaters or a whisk attachment. Beat egg whites into a meringue that holds a firm stiff peak, meaning that the meringue holds its shape on the beaters when held up. (This could take about 2 minutes, but beat them more if the meringue does not hold a stiff peak yet).
Continue to mix egg whites/meringue at medium speed while adding a teaspoon at a time of granulated sugar. Mix well after each teaspoon added. The meringue will start to become glossy.
Add two drops of red food coloring gel and mix well.
Carefully fold the dry ingredients into the egg whites/meringue with a large spatula (about 1 minute, but more or less if needed). You can tell when the batter is ready when it falls off your spatula into a ribbon and the edges of the ribbon smooth out into the batter in about 10 seconds.
Fill a pastry bag with a round tip with the batter. Pipe as 1 inch circles on a nonstick parchment-lined baking sheets. (If you have trouble keeping the circles a consistent size, you can find templates online to print out and put under the parchment paper. Just remove template before baking the shells.)
Tap bottom of baking sheets to pop any air bubbles.
Let macarons sit out 1 hour, or until the batter doesn’t stick or dent too much when you touch the top. Preheat oven to 340 degrees F.
Bake one baking sheet at a time for 10 minutes. If the macaron shells crack, lowering your baking temperature to 330 degrees F may help. Allow macaron shells to completely cool while on baking sheet, then move from sheet to a cooling rack. Macarons may stick to the parchment paper, so slowly peel them off.
Sandwich with chocolate ganache (see below).
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate baking chips
8 ounces heavy cream
In a heavy saucepan over high heat, bring heavy cream to a boil. Put chocolate chips into a medium bowl. Add hot cream and mix until all chocolate is melted; set aside to cool and thicken.
Makes 15-25 macarons, depending on size.